Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Veteran Acts Set For One World Ska, Rocksteady Fest

Published:Saturday | September 17, 2016 | 12:29 AMRoy Black
Marcia Griffiths
Derrick Morgan
Leroy Sibbles

Kingston Jamaica, the birthplace of Ska and Rocksteady music, two of the most popular musical genres played around the world today, will host the first annual One World Ska and Rocksteady Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday, November 26 and 27, 2016 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.

Some of the leading entertainers of these two genres will be performing from 3p.m., to sun up on the first day. A symposium on the originators of Jamaican music, two tours of Culture Yard in Trench Town, and Downtown Kingston Musical Heritage sites, and two documentaries on the genres will be on from 10 a.m., to 7 p.m., on day two.

Ska music, which was first played in 1963 by the Skatalites band in Kingston recording studios and night clubs, is today played by thousands of bands in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America. It will be the first time a music festival of this kind will be held in the birthplace of the music.

Artistes performing include The Skatalites Band (USA), Soweto Ska Band (Spain), Marcia Griffiths (Jamaica), B.B. Seaton and the Gaylads (UK), Sparrow Martin and Skasonic band (Jamaica), Brooklyn Attractors (USA), Leroy Sibbles former lead singer of the Heptones (Jamaica), U-Roy, the King of the Jamaican toasters, Derrick Morgan, the King of Ska music (Jamaica), and Strangejah Cole (Jamaica).

Emerging Bands

Also in performance will be some emerging Ska and Rocksteady bands: Yard Beat, Earth Cry and the Alpha School Band, made up of students of the school that produced many of Jamaica’s great musicians such as Dizzy Reece, Harold ‘Little G’ McNair, Joe Harriot, Tommy McCook, Don Drummond and Rico Rodriguez. Sound System selectors are two leading musicologists, Dexter Campbell ‘the Ska Professor’ and Roy Black of KLAS’ vintage oldies programme –The Saturday Night Alternative. 

The festival is a production of Sounds and Pressure Foundation, in association with Fiwi Productions Inc. The Jamaica Tourist Board and National Integrity Action are the major sponsors. Other sponsors are KSAC/UNESCO Creative Cities, Knutsford Court, The Courtleigh and Pegasus Hotels, Happy Ice, Power 106, Kool FM, The Gleaner Company Media Limited and The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.

According to CEO of Sound and Pressure, Julian ‘Jingles’ Reynolds, the festival is a tactical move by the foundation to position Kingston as a cultural tourism destination, something the foundation has been working on for close to three years.